Many of us are looking forward to leaving the complications of 2020 and 2021 behind us. While we are hopeful that 2022 will be a less complicated year, we realize we are still in the midst of a pandemic. 2 years in and we have learned to adapt over and over again.
Considering this, here are five trends we think will see throughout 2022:
Considering the pandemic’s toll on employees, and the subsequent “great resignation”, employers are now on the hunt for employees to satisfy their growing demand. It truly is an employee’s market, and they are prioritizing flexibility. In 2022, non-traditional work schedules will become more commonplace. 4-day work weeks, bespoke schedules, and the flexibility to decide when and where work takes place may become more common. Many return to work plans have been introduced and rescinded during 2020 and 2021. Employees are reasonably skeptical of these in-office plans. Now with the added stressor of the Omicron variant, it is expected of employers to offer remote, or at the very least hybrid options.
Along with flexibility, employees are also prioritizing their own well-being, specifically mental well-being. Over the past two years, employees have dealt with a seemingly endless ebb and flow of sickness, work/life balance, isolation and anxiety. For many, it has been a wake-up call to care for their own mental health and the mental health of their families. Employees are looking for benefits that help support them. In 2022, we will see a rise in counseling session benefits, access to fitness and wellness centers, zoom free days, and additional days of for mental health and decompression.
Gone are the days of manual accident reporting. In the past, manual reporting, while necessary, could be time consuming. Additionally, calculating trends and making preventative plans based of off these on off reports was difficult. App integrations now make reporting quick and easy and can track trends over time. App based technology allows employees to proactively report issues or accidents directly from a smart phone or tablet. In 2022, we could see an explosion of various occupational apps.
Most workers have become acquainted with PPE over the past two years. We expect this trend to continue well into 2022. Throughout the pandemic many startups have entered the PPE sphere to increase the availability of products which were momentarily in limited supply. You can expect companies to now focus on PPE options specifically for women this year, as well as increased smart PPE products which can gather real-time safety information about the wearer.
Wearable technology will continue to revolutionize safety. Wearables are electronic devices that can be worn by employees as accessories or be integrated into the work environment. In the occupational health sphere, more and more wearables are being integrated into daily life; wrist bands that detect air quality levels, hard hat sensors, smart glasses, patches that can analyze vital signs and sweat are amongst the many options. Data gathered from wearable devices over time, can help employers and employees evaluate information such as health, environmental, and situational risks. With so many possibilities, 2022 may see an influx of wearable tech.